It’s past midnight here in the Southeastern United States. Hurricane Irma forces me to do a bit of introspection. Funny how life works; in dire situations we long to cling to our most prized possession. At any rate, my mind is racing with all kinds of scenarios regarding safety, our home, and the aftermath no one wants to acknowledge. I head over to check on my daughters who are sound asleep, unaware of mother nature’s wrath that will be more revealing in the wee hours. Just a few hours earlier, as we watched a family movie, they had clanged on to us a little longer. At that moment my wife and I were all smiles and we must have realized once again, what lucky parents we are to have such adorable children.
Upstairs the rain was intensifying and it collided rhythmically with our windows, creating an ambiance that is sleep-inducing and my wife obliged. Besides, the wine, though soothing, is as much a culprit in the pharmacokinetics (ADME) response, which at the moment, I’d prefer it being otherwise. So, I rest my head by one of the windows in the room overlooking the balcony, and gazed into the distance as if to draw some inspiration. I glanced at her admiringly once more just as Kool & Klean’s smooth groove “Flawless” played softly in the background, for good measure. After nearly fifteen years together, we have weathered many a personal storms (thankfully, none too turbulent) and parried those cyclical ones.
No matter how much one loves and cares deeply for someone, teachable moments arise. As a father, especially, I tend to anticipate—to a fault—potential dangers to keep my children from harm. I once observed that parental instinct in a family of ducks that was crossing the road just as my car arrived. Mother duck (I assume) seemed to quack alarmingly at one of her ducklings and realigned the little one on the safest path, albeit with what seemed like a stern quack to be careful. Just the other day, my older daughter made her point (with her younger sister echoing): “that’s okay daddy, we’ll just get back up!”
But with this devastating storm right in our backyard, getting back up may take a little while if our home sustains damages. Nonetheless, the point was well taken.
By now, hurricane force winds disrupted the flow of my imagination. I regroup somewhat and observe its destructive power. Trees oscillate left and right while the moon hid behind the thick, black clouds. There are no passers-by in sight, but the howling wind reminding us of the formidable power of more than 100 mph hurricane force winds. The power cuts off. Though, only for a few seconds. Phew!
I step away from the windows and potentially unsafe conditions. Just a couple weeks ago in the United States, we were captivated by the awesomeness of a total solar eclipse. The rendez-vous with the sun, decades in the making, highlighted our place in the cosmos. Its fabric, itself, disrupted by any object with mass which warps spacetime (and thus the effect of gravity). This stuff—space science—is incomprehensible for us mere mortals. However, I am in the midst of the mother of all storms, it interacts with my senses even as I lack the tiniest of knowledge in atmospheric science.
The windows rattled as if resisting the invisible wind pressure and I panic. The laundry room door however needed to be shut and I braved the couple of steps or so on our patio. Voilà! C’est fait!
I can feel the effect of the wine now and the outcome is decided. I’m guaranteed to fall asleep in just a few minutes. Before I do, I check on my most precious possessions and thought for the ten thousandth time: “what a lucky man I am.”
Dance, I shall, at dawn when our vivacious munchkins start my day and my sleeping beauty is awaken by their energetic presence and youthful insouciance.